Welcome to Kindergarten at Tam Valley School!
I hope this information will help make kindergarten a happy, positive experience for you and your child.
BEGINNING DATES AND TIMES
For the first few weeks of school, kindergarten begins at 8:15 AM and concludes at 11:35 AM. Students should come with a healthy snack for our mid-morning snack recess. After the third week of school, kindergarten will begin at 8:15 AM and conclude at 1:15 PM. Students will then be eating lunch on campus, so please send a healthy lunch as well as a separate snack each day for your child.
Our first formal conference with you will be in October. In mid/late September, I will send out a sign up sheet for you to express your preferences for conference times.
Each Tuesday your student will bring home a weekly folder containing the class newsletter and other parent notices and information. Please review and keep at home all news and work sent in the pocket labeled “left at home”. Other items, such as permission slips, etc. will be found in the pocket labeled “send right back”. These items require your review and response. Folders go home each Tuesday and should be returned to school each Wednesday.
You may reach me via voice mail: Elena Garton at 389-7731 ext. 2025.
Messages are checked several times a day and I will return calls as soon as possible, however, I will not take any class time to check voice mail messages. If you need to reach me during class time, please call the school office (ext. 2070) and a message can be sent down to the classroom. You may also e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
SCHEDULE AND PROGRAM
A daily schedule and our program for the year will evolve from the needs of the children as I get to know them. I will discuss the kindergarten curriculum and the school day with you at Back-to-School Night, scheduled at the beginning of the year.
GOING TO AND FROM SCHOOL
Supervised yard play is available from 7:45 – 8:15 every morning before school. On rainy days only, children may go to the multi-purpose room for supervision. Tardy children must first check in at the office before coming to class. Please be on time!
Children are to go straight home with a parent or to on-site childcare unless they have WRITTEN permission to go home with another adult. Please make sure I have the note before you leave your child at drop off. If you need to pick up your child before the end of the school day, you will need to sign him/her out at the office. At the end of the school day, children participating in on-campus daycare will be picked up from the classroom by daycare staff. All other students will need to be picked up from outside of Room 25. Any children not picked up by 1:20 (or 11:40 the first 3 weeks) will be sent to the school office.
We do a great deal of academic work in small groups and therefore, volunteers are an extremely important part of the kindergarten learning experience. We will have a volunteer sign-up sheet available at the beginning of the school year. Please consider volunteering for our “centers”. Thanks in advance for your help!
PARENT TEACHER ASSOCIATION
We invite you to join our school’s PTA. You will receive information regarding dues and meetings. In addition to regular members, the PTA will need one parent from each class to act as a PTA representative. Let them know if you are interested.
To help in the organization of approximately 24 children and their belongings, we have divided the children into color groups. Your child will remain in the same color group throughout the year. These groups will be used to organize cubbies, portfolios, etc. (However, your child will not remain with the same children for every small group activity.) Each child will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of learning situations- working independently, with partners, in random small groups, and as a whole class.
ALL CHILDREN NEED TO BRING A BACKPACK DAILY. Please make sure the backpack is BIG ENOUGH to accommodate snack, lunch, the Tuesday folder, and any work sent home. (Toddler/Preschool size packs are usually not big enough.) Also, please make sure the backpack, as well as any jackets, sweaters, etc., are labeled with your child’s name. PLEASE KEEP ALL TOYS AT HOME! We have plenty of developmentally appropriate toys in the classroom.
SUPERSTAR OF THE WEEK
Every Friday one child is randomly selected from our class to be the superstar for the following week. He/she will bring home 2 posters to complete over the weekend and share with classmates on Monday. Instructions will be included with the posters. Your child’s superstar week will be the time to arrange for special visits by parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, relatives, or pets (at press time, dogs are not allowed on school property). You may read a special story, share something special about your child, or just visit. The children all look forward to being the superstar!
SNACKS AND LUNCH
It is important for young children to have a mid-morning snack and a healthy lunch – we work and play hard! Children should bring their own daily snack, and we are available to assist those who need help opening items, etc. Please make sure that snack is sent everyday, beginning with the very first day of school. Lunch must also be included beginning on the "extended days" of kindergarten.
Birthdays are an exciting time and we do celebrate them in kindergarten! On an agreed-to day, your child is asked to bring a favorite book to be read in his/her honor. You may send a fruit or vegetable snack to supplement our snack time. Please do not send party invitations to school for distribution. Feelings can be hurt if all children are not invited. Summer birthdays will be celebrated in June.
Kindergarten is a time of exploration. This often leads to creative messiness. Please do not send children to school in “best” clothes, but in clothes that are easily laundered and suitable for active work and play. All children need rubber soled, closed toed shoes for playground time and PE. Believe it or not, this is a safety issue. The tanbark on our playground can hurt when it gets into sandals and party type shoes slip on climbing bars.
Please send a change of clothes (underwear, socks, pants, shirt) to school in a plastic bag that is clearly labeled with your child’s name. These will remain in your child’s backpack should she/he ever need a change of clothing.
I will offer 2 formal conferences a year (1 parent/teacher and 1 student led), but ask that you call or speak to me any time you have a concern. You will receive a kindergarten progress report in March, as well as at the end of the school year.
We ask that students participate in a reading activity for at least 10 minutes a day. Bedtime stories are a perfect fit here. We do not have a formal homework program.
Please call the school office if your child will be absent. Please plan family vacations for the scheduled breaks throughout the year.
I am very excited about the upcoming year. I look forward to getting to know you and your child.